Wednesday, April 23, 2014

T is for "Three Dancers in Yellow Skirts." Edgar Degas.c 1899.

In this painting by Degas, we see three dancers waiting in the wings, one drinking water, the others lost in thought, but a tiny detail, the first dancer is in first position.

This is another photography angle painting.  Notice the left border is cut off and the dancers are caught informally.

The colors are so soft, no hard edges.  It almost looks like a pastel, and you are aware of shapes and colors.  The colors are perfect.  Quite a different kind of painting from my choice for "S." And if you click on the painting you can make it larger.

Three Dancers in Yellow Skirts.  Edgar Degas. 1899.  Oil on Canvas.  Dover Press

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

S is for "Singer with a Glove" Edgar Degas 1878

All you artists out there and appreciators of art will enjoy this painting, which shows Degas at his best in the use of color and composition.  He must have been intrigued by the affect of artificial light on singers and ballet dancers, especially how up-lighting has a way of changing features like skin tone, etc.

In researching this painting, I came across this blog which discusses the composition and use of color in this painting, especially interesting is the description of how Degas used color and what our eyes see.  My question would be:  as an artist paints, does he consciously think about these things as he paints, or is it a sub-conscious?  I have added this blog address, so much better than my trying to paraphrase the words.  Color theory is fascinating, I will let this blog be my guest blogger. You have to copy and paste the blog address.

Singer with  a  Glove, 1878,  Edgar Degas,.  Pastel on canvas.   Dover Publications

Monday, April 21, 2014

R is for Racehorses at Longchamp 1873-1875, Edgar Degas

This small painting, 11x15 inches, c. 1873-1875, was purchased by the Boston Museum of Fine Arts in 1903, for $12,000,* which contradicts the written comment that Degas only sold one painting to a museum in his lifetime.  "The Cotton Market in New Orleans" was the other one. Although this painting was purchased from one of the several buyers of the work, it was not sold directly by Degas to the museum.

Degas painted more race-track paintings than ballerina paintings, 91 works in this category.  His paintings of horses really show his mastery of horse anatomy, yet done with such a light hand and again, from a different angle. .

Degas enjoyed painting jockeys and horses and would select individual jockeys and rearrange them into his own compositions.He enjoyed sketching at Longchamps, one of his favorite places to sketch.

Longchamps was and is a  racetrack in Paris, in the Bois de Boulogne, a beautiful park.  And if you are in Paris, and it's  beautiful day, you might want to visit.  The entrance fee is 4 euros, you could bring a picnic lunch and even try your hand at betting.

*$12,000 is worth $240,000 today.   

Racehorses at Longchamps. c 1873-1875. Oil on Canvas.  Edgar Degas.  Dover Publications.